Our Adoption Journey Part 3
Who knew there were guidelines on the gap between your banister spindles? More on that later. Last time I check in about the adoption we were just starting our home visits with our social worker. How time flies because now we only have 3 left! Unfortunately that doesn’t mean three left until the end of the whole process, but progress is progress.
As I mention in my previous post each visit with our social worker is focused on a particular area of our lives. The order of the session is completely different depending on who you’ve decided to pursue adoption with. For us we’ve gone with our local authority and a few couples we know who are going through the same process have had sessions following the same order as us.
The order we are going through sessions in are as followed;
Week one - Introduction, why adoption, why now
Week two - childhood, education and employment
Week three - Past relationships, adult relationships
Week four - current relationship
week five - health and safety
week six - lifestyle
week seven - needs of adopted children
week eight - parenting capacity
This isn’t a strict order of sessions, things can change and sometimes like we have your find that you mention certain aspects of your life in different sessions just as conversation starts to flow.
I know it sounds incredibly scary and pretty serious but the sessions are actually rather nice and kinda cathartic. We’ve got an excellent relationship with our social worker and although you might cover topics you wouldn’t usually be comfortable discussing with a complete stranger you get over because you know ultimately this little bit of discomfort if for the benefit of the child and will be 100% worth it in the long run.
Thankfully we’ve found the whole process so far to be rather smooth, which we couldn’t be more grateful for. Part of the reason for this is because we’ve been completely open and honest about everything from the beginning and we have worked with our social worker, which definitely helps! Not only that but Sam & I have had a pretty trauma free life and upbringing so there aren't any skeletons in the closet to be afraid of.
The only session I was worried about the session around our current relationship only because you do this session separately and although I have the upmost faith in Sam and know our relationship is incredibly strong I’m the talker, and I don’t like it when other people talk for me. So I was on edge. Thankfully Sam & I are pretty in sync and he said the same things as me which was a huge weight of my shoulders. This session wasn’t designed to catch you out its there to get a better understand of what you are like as a couple and to understand your individuals strengths and weaknesses. It was lovely to come back in the room after we both had our individual sessions to see our social worker beaming at us because ya know we’re pretty cute.
So back to the issue with the banister. Our most recent session was around health and safety, this is about making sure your house is safe enough for a child. Its a box ticking exercise where the social worker goes around and checks each area of the house. Looking for things like open fires, making sure your windows have locks, making sure windows don’t fully extend, ect. They also give recommendations which aren’t completely necessary but would be useful. For example with us they recommended on top of getting two stair-gates one at the top and bottom of the stairs that we get an additional one for the kitchen so that when we are cooking a child isn’t wandering around in a potentially hazardous environment. The only part of our assessment where our house was deemed unsafe was in relation to the gaps in-between each spindle on our banister. Ours are deemed to large and are potentially unsafe because a child could fit their head in-between them. My argument was that with the stair-gates at either end there is no way a child could be on the stairs without us, however we have been advised that we still need a new banister. Something we haven’t budgeted for. I know it is only a minor hiccup in the road to adoption and I have read plenty of stories of people who had to make massive changes to their homes for their adoption so I might be making this into a bigger deal than it is. And like I said earlier all of these checks are there to safeguard the child and I will always do whatever possible to make my home as child friendly as I can. The silver lining is that my father in law is a carpenter so whilst we’re on holiday next week he is going to be making us a new banister - that’s what in-laws are for right?
On a slightly more exciting note since I last posted about the adoption we have been volunteering at our local nursery. This was something we were advised to do at the beginning of our application because we don’t have any young child in our family anymore. All of my nieces and nephews have grown up and none of my friends have had any children yet. So It’s been awhile since we’ve been around kids. Our social worker recommended spending a day a week volunteering at the local nursery to get experience with children, especially different types of children. I know this might sound scary or little too much because people who conceive their own children don't have to have previously experience with kids. But I cannot tell you how rewarding this experience has been. I absolutely love my days in the nursery. The children are fantastic and because Sam & I are the only men there, they latch onto us like little leeches! Believe me I’ve even had children fight over who gets to play with me, luckily there is enough of me to go around.
Spending time in the nursery really gets me more excited to have our own child. Seeing their little faces light up when its our day to come and play with them is fantastic and watching how their little minds work has me in awe. Not only that but I’ve picked up so many activities and games we can play with our own child just from being in the nursery. So if this is something you are afraid of, or not wanting to do just push yourself to do it because it is incredible - even if you do pick up all the germs that come with 50 screaming kids!
That’s pretty much where we are right now, we have a couple of week off because we’re off to Japan for our wedding anniversary but once we’re back It’s all systems go to get our report finished and get ready for panel. I think that will be the hardest part for me because we have a month of waiting between our last season and panel.
Thanks again for following us on this journey, all of your love and support has been spectacular and I can’t wait to update you again soon